Posted by Fitzy

Yes, I quoted Bon Jovi for the title of this post.  Don’t tell me you don’t love it!

Fall brings us many things: crisp, cool air, good hair weather, Honeycrisp apples, and fresh notebooks, to name a few.  It’s undoubtedly my favorite time of year, and I live through the summer knowing that a beautiful season will be my reward.  While this fall has been great so far, it’s appeal has been marred by a decision that I’m thoroughly confused about: should the Bean get the flu shot?  What about the H1N1?

I’ve done all the research in the world on both, and am not proud to say that it has confused me more than helped.  Beanie got the regular flu shot last year primarily because she was going to daycare for the first time, and I bet that we’ll end up getting her another based on her pediatrician’s recommendation.  Even this makes me uneasy, though; while her pediatrician and many others recommend it, I can give you the names of 10 friends whose doctors don’t.  Who is right?  Why can’t the medical community get on the same freaking page?  These are our children here, not guinea pigs…we want to be sure that we’re making the best decision for them.

Then comes the big H1N1 question.  My first reaction is to keep my girl far away from that bad boy, since it’s so new – who knows what affects she could get from it?  I know others who feel differently than I, and are calling their doctors to schedule appointments for the shot as we speak.  Then, of course, the opinions start flying by like candy falling from a pinata: My dad’s doctor thinks the Bean should get it, my father-in-law is opposed to any vaccine at all.  My local newscaster tells me that children are top priority, but my best friend thinks it’s too risky.  I’m taking all of this competing information to the Bean’s well-visit on Friday, and I hope that her pediatrician can give me his opinion, some literature, and some peace of mind from which to make this seemingly life-affecting decision.

Because if I get her either shot and she gets really sick, I will feel guilty (understatement of the year).  And if I don’t get her the shots and she gets really sick, I will feel guilty.  I guess the answer here lies somewhere between the doctor’s advice, my own research, and the decision which will yield the least amount of parental guilt if the illness comes to visit.  I don’t feel comfortable in these shades of gray, not when it comes to my daughter’s health.  I wish that we had more information to use, to relieve this bit of stress that is putting a blemish on an otherwise perfect fall season.

What are YOU doing?